How to observe the Lyrids, the meteor shower that occurs every April?

The peak of intensity is expected on April 22, during which up to 20 shooting stars per hour can be observed in the sky.

It is the first significant spring meteor shower. The Lyrid meteor shower can be seen in the sky between this Tuesday, April 16 and the end of the month. Peak intensity is expected on April 22, according to the International Meteorological Organization, with up to 20 shooting stars per hour.

This phenomenon occurs every year from mid-April. If we stay away from the Perseids, the annual August meteor shower, the Lyrids can sometimes produce up to 100 meteors per hour, according to NASA. In 1803, astronomers recorded up to 700 meteors per hour.

Lyrids don’t tend to leave behind long trails of glowing dust as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere, but they can occasionally produce a large flash of light.

Away from light pollution

If you want to hope to see this shower of shooting stars, you need to look for a place where there is little or no light pollution. Despite this, meteor visibility may be altered by the Moon, which will be full on April 24, just days after the Lyrid peak.

Prepare something to cover yourself and lie on your back with your feet facing east. These shooting stars appear in our sky near the constellation Lyra. It is located towards the star Vega, one of the brightest points in the sky. You can record them using apps on your phone that reveal the names of celestial objects by pointing your device’s camera at the sky.

Finding the radiant – the point where the meteors seem to come from – is useful, but it is better to observe the Lyrids far from this point to see along their length.

Comet debris

The Lyrids are one of the oldest known meteor showers, having been observed in 687 BC. BC in China, more than 2,700 years ago.

Although they are called shooting stars, they are actually the debris of a comet. Every year on its course around the Sun, the Earth passes through the dust left behind by Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher (named after the amateur astronomer who discovered it in 1861). As they pass through the atmosphere, they experience friction and eventually burn up, leaving a trail of light in the night sky.

Leave a Comment